Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.

Here's my trick:
1) Take notes during class on what the professor says and headings from the slides. You can get a shared copy of the PowerPoint, but you can't get them to repeat what they say.
2) After class, highlight the keywords that were emphasized and interesting facts that stick out to you. The interesting facts are easier to recall. Studying the material around those facts helps you store information in your longterm memory.
3) Next, rewrite the main ideas on one side of notecards by looking at what is highlighted.
4) Put your notes away, and work from memory. Make acronyms of what you remember on the backs of the cards. Write quotes and make them colorful so information stands out.
5) Go back and look at your notes. Compare them to the notecards. Erase information if needed and write what you missed. Highlight parts that you wish you had remembered before.
6) Color mark each notecard with the date they were made so that you can go back to your notes if you want to.

Note: You have to do steps 1-6 the same day you took the notes to get anything fresh from your memory written down. Don't let your short term memory fail you.

7) Mix the notecards together, and study them every two days for 2 weeks or until the test date. Add more notecards to the pile each day of notes. Study with friends and make it fun!
8) Don't lose your cards. Make a name for them, wrap them in a rubber band, and store them somewhere safe. Keep yourself organized. Save them for the future/finals.

This method works because it targets all three types of learning. Writing is a form of kinesthetic learning. Your memory can feel the way you are writing through repetition. The pretty colors and highlighted words use visual learning to make it feel like you can see the words while taking the test. Lastly, it targets auditory learning because you are writing what the professor is saying and can read the notecards out loud with friends. You remember them better with the experience.

Pooja from Illinois
High School Senior
Bartlett High School